Members gather for our annual Star-B-Q event.

The SVAS maintains an Event Calendar and Message Board through its Yahoo! Group. If you are a member of SVAS, but do not have access to the Yahoo! Group, please click here, and then click the blue “Join This Group” button to request membership. Thanks! 2017 Star Party Dates. Also available are our 2016 Past Events.

Click Here For Upcoming Events 2017-Volunteers Always Needed!

November 17, 2017, Friday 8pm at Arcade Public Library- 2443 Marconi Ave-Sacramento, Board President Walt Heiges and Vice President Lonnie Robinson along with other SVAS members will be discussing their Eclipse experiences. Stop by to see and hear a variety of experiences complete with photo's.

October 20, 2017, Friday 8pm at Arcade Public Library- 2443 Marconi Ave-Sacramento, KCRA Meteorologist Dirk Verdoorn will Present to the SVAS on his Idaho Eclipse Experience and Space Weather.

Come see Dirk in person! He is the Meteorologist for KCRA Channel 3.

September 15, 2017, Friday 8pm at Sacramento City College (SCC), in Lillard Hall Rm #L101, Hubble vs Scope: Expectations vs Reality when using your Scope!

Board Member Raj Dixit will discuss the difference between the beautiful images you see on TV, in books and magazines, and on the internet, compared to what you actually see through a telescope! He has prepared an elaborate PowerPoint Presentation that will be very interactive!

August 21, 2017, Monday, Solar Eclipse at the Powerhouse Science Center - Photo's

August 21st Solar Eclipse

If you are staying in Sacramento for this event, be sure to attend the SVAS local viewing at the Powerhouse Science Center. The event begins at 9am and will last approx 2 hrs. Contact Walt Heiges. Click here for the SVAS Great American Eclipse Activities pdf. State Capitals in Path of Totality.

August 11-12, Fri-Sat, Glacier Point Star Party

Glacier Point Star Party

The attendance on this event is limited. Contact Tom Braun as soon as possible if you're interested in signing up, and for more information.

July 29, 2017-Saturday, Barnes & Noble Solar Viewing, across form the Galleria. Contact Kevin Normington for more information.

SVAS 2017 Barnes & Noble Solar Viewing

July 21-23, 2017-Friday thru Sunday, Star-B-Q

SVAS 2017 Star-B-Q

Time really flies, it’s Star-B-Q time again! Time for the SVAS to get ready for this years main event, our big blowout party, a chance to see old friends both human and stellar. High Sierra mountain atmosphere, clear dark skies, great friends, great food, and some quality time with the heavens. Does it get any better? Arrive early if you can, say around 2:00pm on Saturday, to find a great parking spot and get your scope set up before we start cook-ing steaks about 4:00pm. Please bring a dish or dessert to share at our potluck table. The raffle begins around 5:30pm and lasts a couple hours, so don’t follow my lead and end up eating late during the raffle! Lots of great prizes will be spread out on tables for everyone to view and pre-select should you have a winning ticket! There will be club announcements following the raffle. Then on to a great viewing evening under the stars. We will be following the 12’ rule again this year, all the parking and equipment along the easterly side of the tarmac should be within 12’ from the tarmac’s edge. Most vehicles will need to be parked partly on the SUP dirt area. That will allow us an ample sized emergency access lane. RV’s, campers, and tents must be entirely on the dirt SUP area! If you have any questions, or if you take any images from our upcoming 2017 Star-B-Q contact Walt Heiges. Star-B-Q Rules and parking information are now posted here.

This Years Star-B-Q Sponsors

Sponsor - Meade Telescope PowerHouse Science Center Logo Sponsor - Orion Telescopes
Sponsor - Oberwerk Logo Sponsor - Celestron
Sponsor - Sky and Telescope Sponsors - Bobs Knobs Sponsor - Cloud Break Optics
Please remember to bring a red flashlight, mosquito repellent, suntan lotion, a large brimmed hat, and drink plenty of water! Don’t forget a knife and fork to do some real damage to your B-B-Q specimen, along with steak sauce (really not needed up here), salt and pepper. The Star-B-Q is just one of the many benefits of being a SVAS member. Along with our newsletter, HGO and RJMO observatories, our Forrest Service SUP, Glacier Point Star Party, monthly scheduled star parties at our High Serra Observatory, outreach star parties for the general public, school star parties for young aspiring astronomers, speakers for public events, public repre-sentatives for special newsworthy events, regular SVAS meetings (a new and very exciting meeting place will be announced soon!!), scheduled speakers, field trips, help with your telescope issues and ATM advice, mirror and telescope making, Constant Contact to keep you in touch with current events, and great lifelong friendships. We welcome all astronomy disciplines from astropho-tography, visual observing, video astronomy, and binocular (or eyes only) viewers on chaise lounges! Such a value for only $36 a year! If not a member, Click here to JOIN!

July 22, 2017-Saturday, SVAS - Rusch Park Family Campout, Contact Community Star Parties Director Wayne Lord for more information.

SVAS 2017 Rusch Park Camp Out

June 17-18, 2017-Saturday/Sunday, International Sun-Day at the POWERHOUSE Science Center at 3615 Auburn Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95821, Contact SVAS President Walt Heiges for more information.

SVAS 2017 International Sun-Day

June 16, 2017, Solar Eclipse 2017 Presentation! Are you Ready? 8pm at Sacramento City College (SCC), in Lillard Hall Rm #L101. Meeting Directions

The much anticipated Solar Eclipse of 2017 is taking place this August 21st!

Get a head start on the excitement and learn a thing or two at this talk which will provide further insight into this unsurpassed phenomenon.

This presentation is two-fold: first it will highlight Ralph Merletti's first total solar eclipse -- February 26, 1979 -- in Montana. Second - the presentation will provide additional information on Eclipses in general and offer tips on the upcoming Eclipse. For example, where are prime viewing locations? do you have the proper tools?

Ralph Merletti (B/A, M/A in geography; much background in the earth sciences) has had a varied career in education and civil service work. Ralph has been involved with SVAS for approx. 16+ years. He has been an amateur astronomer since childhood, and has observed 27 solar eclipses of various types since his first in 1954 as an 8-year old. Some of his observations and photos have appeared in SKY & TELESCOPE and ASTRONOMY magazines in years past. Ralph has traveled to eight central path eclipses -- 4 totals and 4 annulars (with mostly successful observations and photographs).

It has been over 38 years since the last time one could drive to the path of a total eclipse within the contiguous (adjoined) United States! Come along and enjoy the views as Ralph details the experience with slides and show & tell items, concluding with tips on traveling to, and observing and photographing the upcoming total solar eclipse in August across the USA!

April 21, 2017, Bill Goff, Will Present at 8pm at Sacramento City College (SCC), in Mohr Hall Room 3. Meeting Directions
will discuss some of the types of variables, why amateur observations are important, opportunities for pro/am collaboration and some exciting recent developments.

Bill began his venture in astronomy in the late 1950s with a small telescope observing Messier objects from his family's backyard. By the time he’d graduated from high school, he had completed grinding a mirror and made his first telescope. He has built several over the years.

In the 1980’s he met some observers from the AAVSO and liked visual variable star observing right away. It offered a structured way to plan observing that he found interesting. And besides, there were many types of variable stars to observe. He’s been a member ever since.

Later, as the technology improved he adopted CCD camera’s, and began a path of making precision measurements of variable star brightness changes.

February 17, 2017: Caitlin Everhart, Presentation on delta Scuti star components in eclipsing binary systems, 8pm at the Powerhouse Science Center - 3615 Auburn Blvd Sacramento, CA
Caitlin Everhart currently works in the museum education field, but once upon a time she was an astronomy intern at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. Her work involved searching for delta Scuti components in eclipsing binary systems, and the results of that research were ultimately presented at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Come hear Caitlin at the Power House Science Center for what is sure to be a Fascinating experience:

"When you look into the night sky, many of the “stars” you are seeing are actually multiple star systems: two, three, or even four stars orbiting around each other. Some estimates place 85% of the stars in the Milky Way in multiple star systems. A system with two stars is called a binary system. These systems can be very difficult to study from Earth since even our best telescopes usually cannot resolve these stars as being separate, but in one special case it becomes possible to study these systems. With two stars are orbiting each other such that their orbital plane lies in the line of sight of the observer, they eclipse each other. This results in a change in brightness for the system which is regular and observable. The size of that change can reveal information about the stars which might not have been possible to know without the special circumstance of an eclipsing binary system.

One piece of information is whether one of the component stars is a delta Scuti variable star. These stars are found by looking for small, regular changes in the light from that star and that change is extremely hard to find. In the special case of an eclipsing binary system, however, these stars are easier to identify!"

January 20, 2017: Jeff Baldwin, of the Stockton Astronomical Society (SAS), and Dr. Larry Grimes
Both are scheduled to fly on the NASA SOFIA mission this fall, and have agreed to share their experience with the SVAS members this January. More info will be coming soon. Check out their website at: SETI-Educators.

2017 Star Party Dates

Nov 18th - Nov 17th New Moon
Dec 16th - Dec 17th New Moon

2018 Star Party Dates

Jan 13th
Feb 17th
Mar 17th New Moon
Apr 14th
May 12th
Jun 16th
Jul 14th Star-B-Q Weekend
Aug 11th New Moon
Sep 08th
Oct 06th
Nov 10th
Dec 08th

Check or Moongiant for New Moon Dates, and general information on our nearest neighbor.

Contact Observatory Director Stuart Schulz for more information.